Born into slavery in Missouri, Tolton was ordained to the priesthood 1886, at the age of 32. He was ordained in Rome because he had to confront such adversity in the United States in order to become a priest.
Born into slavery between 1833 and 1848 in Hannibal, Missouri, she found her way to Denver and the Catholic Church in the late 1800s. Julia is the first person the Archdiocese of Denver has proposed for sainthood. Read more here.
Mary Elizabeth Lange
An immigrant from Cuba, in the early 1800s, she began offering free education in Baltimore and eventually defied odds to begin a religious order. Read more here.
Oblate Sisters of Providence
Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA
Bowman was born on December 29, 1937, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. She converted to the Catholic faith at age 9. Entering the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, she studied at Catholic University and had an important career in education. She was a consultant for the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi. Read more here.
Born in New Orleans, Henriette in effect opened America’s first Catholic home for the elderly. Read more here.
Sr. Mathilda Beasley
Born in the 1830s in New Orleans, she risked her life to educate black children. Sister Mathilda went on to form the first group of African-American nuns in Georgia. Read more here.
Public Domain via Georgia Historical Society
Filled with an entrepreneurial spirit, he opened the first newspaper by and for African-Americans in January of 1885. Read more here.
Pierre attended daily Mass every day for 66 years. He sheltered orphans, provided foster care for children, helped them get into school and even helped some of them get their first jobs. But his art was hairstyling. Read more here.